07/07/2010 02:18 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

How to Not Look Like a Hot Mess at the Beach

A day at the beach -- the phrase alone creates a mental picture of hair softly blowing in the breeze, sunlit and beautiful. The combination of sea and the feel of the warm sun should make you feel great, sun-kissed and gorgeous. You might think it's sublime, but the truth is that it's easy to look like a hot mess at the beach. The elements that can make us feel so relaxed can wreak havoc on our hair. The hot summer sun, salt or pool water will dry out your hair. You must take extra care in summer to maintain its health and condition. Everybody's hair is affected by the summer weather. No texture, color or style is exempt. So how do you protect yourself against hair summer perils? Read on...

A Trim Goes a Long Way
It is essential to have an outstanding haircut in the summer. A great cut is the first step to keep your hair looking good, even if it's wet or wild and blowing in the wind. When hair has a good shape, it will always fall back into place and is easier to maintain. Hair splits easily from the intense sun, from constant washing and blow drying. This makes frequent trims essential to keep your hair in tip-top shape all summer long.

Don't Forget to Condition
Conditioning is a must at this time of year. I strongly suggest the weekly use of deep conditioners all summer long. To make them even more effective, wrap your hair with conditioner and cover it with a plastic wrap. This will hold in your body heat and help the hair to absorb the conditioner. Daily conditioners should be used after every shampoo. Exceptionally dry hair should be cleansed with a diluted gentle shampoo or with a conditioner used as shampoo.

Cover It Up
Nothing will totally protect your hair or hair color from the sun, but you should make every effort to cover your hair. You can use something as simple as a baseball cap or as chic as an Hermes scarf. If you don't like to cover your hair, use a sunblock made for hair. SPFs for the hair are weaker than those made for the skin. They will not protect the hair as well as a hat or scarf, but they will help.

Stay Away from the Heat
Try to avoid using your heat appliances as much as possible. The combination of blow dryers, curling irons or flat irons, plus the summer elements is too harmful for all but the strongest hair. You can keep your blow drying to a minimum by accepting and working with your hair's natural texture.

Product Love
Fight the frizzes with your favorite hair serum or leave in conditioner. Use only as much product as necessary. This is determined by the texture of your hair. Fine hair requires fewer products. They should only be used only on the tips of the hair. This will prevent your hair from looking oily.

You can enjoy the summer and have beautiful hair. You only need to preserve and protect your hair and hair color while you're having fun. This will guarantee great looking hair in the fall.

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